A California church held homeless people captive and forced them to turn in their welfare benefits and panhandle for up to 9 hours a day, prosecutors say

A dozen church officials in El Centro, California, were arrested Tuesday and charged with holding homeless people captive in an “appalling” forced labor scheme. Prosecutors said the Imperial Valley Ministries took in homeless and vulnerable people looking for food and shelter, then seized their documents and held them captive. The victims were forced to panhandle for up to nine hours per day, six days per week, and turn over their earnings to the church, a federal indictment alleged. Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

A dozen California church officials were arrested Tuesday and accused of holding homeless people captive

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